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HBO Anti Slapp Motion to Strike

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    HBO’S SPECIAL MOT. TO STRIKE CASE NO. 2:19-CV-01862-GW-PJW 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 DANIEL M. PETROCELLI (S.B. #97802) dpetrocelli@omm.com DREW E. BREUDER (S.B. #198466) dbreuder@omm.com O’MELVENY & MYERS LLP 1999 Avenue of the Stars, 8th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90067-6035 Telephone: (310) 553-6700 Facsimile: (310) 246-6779 THEODORE J. BOUTROUS JR. (S.B. #132099) tboutrous@gibsondunn.com  NATHANIEL L. BACH (S.B. #246518) nbach@gibsondunn.com GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP 333 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90071-3197 Telephone: (213) 229-7804 Facsimile: (213) 229-6804 Attorneys for Home Box Office, Inc. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA OPTIMUM PRODUCTIONS, a California corporation; and JOHN BRANCA and JOHN MCCLAIN, in the respective capacities as CO-EXECUTORS OF THE ESTATE OF MICHAEL J. JACKSON, Plaintiffs, v. HOME BOX OFFICE, a Division of TIME WARNER ENTERTAINMENT, L.P., a Delaware Limited Partnership; HOME BOX OFFICE, INC., a Delaware corporation; DOES 1 through 5, business entities unknown; and DOES 6 through 10, individuals unknown, Defendants. Case No. 2:19-CV-01862-GW-PJW Hon. George H. Wu MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF HOME BOX OFFICE, INC.’S SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFFS’ PETITION (CAL. CODE CIV. PROC. § 425.16) Hearing Date: September 19, 2019 Hearing Time: 8:30 a.m.   Case 2:19-cv-01862-GW-PJW Document 46-1 Filed 08/15/19 Page 1 of 33 Page ID #:690   TABLE OF CONTENTS Page i HBO’S SPECIAL MOT. TO STRIKE CASE NO. 2:19-CV-01862-GW-PJW 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................. 1   II. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND ......................................................... 2   III. LEGAL STANDARD ......................................................................................... 6   IV. ARGUMENT ...................................................................................................... 8   A.   Plaintiffs’ Claims Arise from an Exercise of HBO’s Free Speech Rights on a Public Issue. ....................................................................... 8   B.   Plaintiffs Cannot Establish a Reasonable Probability that They Will Prevail on Their Claims, and Their Petition Must Be Struck. ................................................................................................. 10   1.   The First Amendment, Due Process Clause and California Public Policy Forbid Enforcement of the Non-Disparagement Sentence. .......................................................... 11   a.   The First Amendment Protects  Leaving Neverland and Bars Plaintiffs’ Claims. ........................................... 12    b.   Applying the Non-Disparagement Sentence to  Leaving Neverland   Would Violate HBO’s Due Process Rights. ............................................................... 17   c.   The Non-Disparagement Sentence Is Also Unenforceable on Public Policy Grounds. ..................... 18   2.   Plaintiffs Cannot Establish a Reasonable Probability of Prevailing on Their Breach of Contract Claims because the 1992 Agreement Does Not Pertain to  Leaving  Neverland   and Is Expired. ........................................................ 19   a.   The 1992 Agreement Does Not Pertain to  Leaving  Neverland  . ...................................................................... 20    b.    No Valid Contract Exists because the 1992 Agreement and Its Non-Disparagement Sentence Have Expired. ................................................................. 21   V. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................... 25     Case 2:19-cv-01862-GW-PJW Document 46-1 Filed 08/15/19 Page 2 of 33 Page ID #:691   TABLE OF AUTHORITIES Page(s) ii HBO’S SPECIAL MOT. TO STRIKE CASE NO. 2:19-CV-01862-GW-PJW 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Cases  Allan Block Corp. v. Cty. Materials Corp. , 634 F. Supp. 2d 979 (D. Minn. 2008) ................................................................. 22  Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Roth , 485 F.3d 930 (7th Cir. 2007) ............................................................................... 23  Bakst v. Comm. Mem. Health Sys., Inc. , 2011 WL 13214315 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 7, 2011) .................................................... 20  Bartnicki v. Vopper  , 532 U.S. 514 (2001) ...................................................................................... 14, 15  BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore , 517 U.S. 559 (1996) ............................................................................................ 12 Cohen v. Cowles Media Co. , 501 U.S. 663 (1991) ............................................................................................ 17 Connick v. Myers , 461 U.S. 138 (1983) ........................................................................................ 1, 15 Contreras v. Dowling , 5 Cal. App. 5th 394, 413 (2016) .......................................................................... 10 Cooper Cos. v. Transcon. Ins. Co. , 31 Cal. App. 4th 1094 (1995) .............................................................................. 22  D’Arrigo Bros. of California v. United Farmworkers of America , 224 Cal. App. 4th 790 (2014) .............................................................................. 12  Davies v. Grossmont Union High Sch. Dist. , 930 F.2d 1390 (9th Cir. 1991) ............................................................................. 17  Davis v. Electronic Arts Inc. , 775 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2015) ............................................................................. 10  De Havilland v. FX Networks, LLC  , 21 Cal. App. 5th 845, 849–50 (2018), review denied   (Cal. Jul 11, 2018), cert. denied  , 139 S. Ct. 800 (2019) ................................................ 1, 13, 14   Case 2:19-cv-01862-GW-PJW Document 46-1 Filed 08/15/19 Page 3 of 33 Page ID #:692   TABLE OF AUTHORITIES  Page(s) iii HBO’S SPECIAL MOT. TO STRIKE CASE NO. 2:19-CV-01862-GW-PJW 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28  Dees v. Billy , 394 F.3d 1290 (9th Cir. 2005) ............................................................................... 7  East Bay Union of Machinists v. Fibreboard Paper Prods. Corp. , 285 F. Supp. 282 (N.D. Cal. 1968), aff’d,  435 F.2d 556 (9th Cir. 1970) .................................................................................................................... 21  In re Episcopal Church Cases , 45 Cal. 4th 467 (2009) ........................................................................................... 8 F.C.C. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. , 567 U.S. 239 (2012) ............................................................................................ 18 Fisher v. DCH Temecula Imports LLC  , 187 Cal. App. 4th 601 (2010) .............................................................................. 18 Gamble v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. , 348 F. Supp. 3d 1003 (N.D. Cal. 2018)................................................................. 6 Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. , 418 U.S. 323 (1974) ...................................................................................... 14, 16 Giles v. Horn , 100 Cal. App. 4th 206 (2002) .............................................................................. 21  Hidden Harbor v. Am. Fed’n of Musicians , 134 Cal. App. 2d 399 (1955) ............................................................................... 21  Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell , 485 U.S. 46 (1988) ........................................................................................ 13, 19 Kashani v. Tsann Kuen China Enterprise Co. , 118 Cal. App. 4th 531 (2004) .............................................................................. 19 Kelly v. Johnson Pub. Co. , 160 Cal. App. 2d 718 (1958) ................................................................... 12, 18, 19  Leonard v. Clark  , 12 F.3d 885 (9th Cir. 1993) ..................................................................... 15, 17, 18  Makaeff v. Trump Univ., LLC  , 26 F. Supp. 3d 1002 (S.D. Cal. 2014) ................................................................... 6   Case 2:19-cv-01862-GW-PJW Document 46-1 Filed 08/15/19 Page 4 of 33 Page ID #:693
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